Alcohol and Young People - Sep 2013
Alcohol is directly associated with over 60 acute and chronic conditions ranging from accidents and assaults to mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and certain cancers. The overall cost to Irish society of problem alcohol use, including health care costs, the cost of crime, premature death and mortality, and accidents and absenteeism at work, is estimated at €3.7billion.
The IMO has clear policy in relation to the sale and promotion of alcohol to young people and is calling above all for the introduction of a minimum pricing structure for the sale of alcohol in Ireland as well as a total ban on all advertising and promotion.
The IMO also believes that the Government should introduce a health levy on alcohol manufacturers in order contribute to the healthcare costs of alcohol related harm. Furthermore, there should be a closer monitoring of alcohol sales to minors and the introduction of a traceability mechanism to be put in place so that all alcohol sold to underage persons can be traced.
The IMO recognises that implementing these policies and regulations at national level does little to prevent and may even encourage cross-border purchasing of alcohol. As such, in order for alcohol policy to be effective it is necessary to ensure that alcohol policy is aligned both North and South of the border.